Definitions for pitifulˈpɪt ɪ fəl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word pitiful

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pit•i•ful*ˈpɪt ɪ fəl(adj.)

  1. evoking or deserving pity:

    a pitiful fate.

  2. arousing contempt by smallness, poor quality, etc.:

    pitiful attempts.

  3. Archaic. full of pity; compassionate.

* Syn: pitiful , pitiable , piteous apply to that which arouses pity (with compassion or with contempt). That which is pitiful is touching and excites pity or is mean and contemptible: a pitiful leper; a pitiful exhibition of cowardice.pitiable may mean lamentable, or wretched and paltry: a pitiable hovel.piteous refers only to that which exhibits suffering and misery, and is therefore heartrending: piteous poverty.

Origin of pitiful:



Princeton's WordNet

  1. pathetic, pitiable, pitiful(adj)

    inspiring mixed contempt and pity

    "their efforts were pathetic"; "pitiable lack of character"; "pitiful exhibition of cowardice"

  2. deplorable, distressing, lamentable, pitiful, sad, sorry(adj)

    bad; unfortunate

    "my finances were in a deplorable state"; "a lamentable decision"; "her clothes were in sad shape"; "a sorry state of affairs"

  3. hapless, miserable, misfortunate, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretched(adj)

    deserving or inciting pity

    "a hapless victim"; "miserable victims of war"; "the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy; "piteous appeals for help"; "pitiable homeless children"; "a pitiful fate"; "Oh, you poor thing"; "his poor distorted limbs"; "a wretched life"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. pitiful(adjective)ˈpɪt ɪ fəl

    causing you to feel pity or sympathy

    The cat stood in the rain looking pitiful.

  2. pitifulˈpɪt ɪ fəl

    very bad or very small

    a pitiful performance by the team; The amount they paid me was pitiful.; She looked pitifully weak.; The company performed pitifully last quarter.


  1. pitiful(Adjective)

    Feeling pity; merciful.

  2. pitiful(Adjective)

    So appalling or sad that one feels or should feel sorry for it; eliciting pity.

    Scotland has a pitiful climate.

  3. pitiful(Adjective)

    Very small (of an amount or number).

    A pitiful number of students bothered to turn up.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pitiful(adj)

    full of pity; tender-hearted; compassionate; kind; merciful; sympathetic

  2. Pitiful(adj)

    piteous; lamentable; eliciting compassion

  3. Pitiful(adj)

    to be pitied for littleness or meanness; miserable; paltry; contemptible; despicable

Translations for pitiful

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


very sad; causing pity

a pitiful sight.

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